Open Letter to Bush and Congress — Bring our Troops Home!

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President Bush and Members of Congress, 

As you enjoy your holiday vacations with your families, I strongly urge you to also remember the sons and daughters of America whom you have sent to fight in a bloody war that has taken them so far away from their families, their lives and their homes.  I urge you to remember the sons and daughters of America who will not be coming home ever.   

In November We, the People of the United States of America voted for change.  We voted for an end to the war in Iraq.  We do not want to continue fighting a war that was never officially declared a war and we do not want our sons and daughters to continue to die in this ill-planned, immoral, misbegotten war without end.  We want you to bring them home and to bring them home now. 

You have so far ignored our pleas and our cries to end this war.  It does not touch your lives and it does not affect you on an hourly basis.  But, while you sit in your comfortable homes and offices, safe from harm, there are hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are not comfortable and who are affected.  They are either fighting in this war or worrying about their loved ones who are fighting for their lives every day.  There are families who are living in dreadful fear of that knock on the door.  They watch the news shows and wonder, with every announcement of yet another death of American military members, whether theirs is still alive or one of the dead…

     

This month alone there have been 61 of America’s sons and daughters killed.  That’s 61 families whose holidays are ruined, who will forever have their Christmas tainted by the death of someone they love in this horrendous war.  Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis are also dead. 

While you sit in your homes, waiting to make up your minds what to do, lives are being forever changed.  This war may not affect you or your family, but it does affect hundreds of thousands of people across this country and in Iraq.  Every second, every minute, every day and every week that you take to think about the war, lives are changed or forever ended. 

Last weekend I put up my Christmas tree and was rocked with the memories of the last Christmas I spent with my only son, who died a month and a half later, in February 2004.  He was home on an unexpected leave.  My husband and I had no money as he had been laid off from work and I was the only one keeping us afloat then.  We had barely enough to make ends meet.  But Jeremy was coming home and we were determined to make the holiday a good one for him, knowing that this could very well be his last Christmas ever.   

I got a PayDay Loan.  Then, because all of our holiday decorations were in storage in another city, I went out and bought a small silk tree and decorated it.  I bought small, inexpensive gifts and food for our traditional Christmas Eve feast.  And when my son came home, I hugged on him, kissed him and spent as much time as I possibly could with him.  In the end, it was a good Christmas.   

Now, I put that little tree up every year in remembrance of my only son, my beloved boy whose voice I will never hear again, the young man I will never again hug or kiss.  And I cry tears of sorrow for the senseless end of his life. 

Please, I beg of you, do not hesitate one more hour, one more week to end this war.  Do not send more troops to Iraq, do not extend tours of duty, and do not continue in this war.   The Iraqi’s do not want us in their country and the American people want their sons and daughters to come home.  Please, listen to us and bring them home.   

We cannot afford to waste another day while you are enjoying your holidays.  Today the death toll is 2,950.  How many more will die before you make up your minds to end this war? 

Sincerely,
Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 Feb. 2004

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